With next week’s CTIA Wireless show, there will be plenty of news about what our next cell phone will look like and achieve.
Verizon Wireless wanted to get ahead of the crowd and confirmed today that it is on track to build a 4G wireless network this year. Peak speeds are at 40 to 50 megabits per second download and 20 to 25 mbps upload. These must be ideal results from a lab since Verizon adds that in reality, the service will have average data rates of 5 to 12 mbps down, and 2 to 5 mbps up.
The 50 mbps would get consumers to fiber-optic Internet speeds available from Verizon FiOS and some cable companies outside of Orange County. The more realistic 5 to 12 mbps is akin to today’s DSL and cable Internet speeds. The 3G mobile wireless speeds that many cell phone companies tout today are in the barely 1 mbps range.
Verizon’s expected 4G launch? “Later this year,” said the company.
And where? “Up to 30 markets in 2010.”
And how much? Nothing determined yet, but according to BroadbandReports.com, Verizon is asking people for their input.
With that sort of launch, Orange County has got to be among one of the 30 markets since we often get grouped with Los Angeles. Don’t you think?
Fourth-generation wireless is split between two methods. There is Long Term Evolution, or LTE, which is the 4G of choice for Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. The other 4G is WiMax, backed by Sprint, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and many cable companies just now entering the mobile data market. Corrected, 3/20/10: Cox is going with LTE (thanks L).
If Verizon is able to get something started this year, it will be the first in the nation to offer this type of 4G service.
Faster wireless has been expected after Verizon acquired a huge chunk of wireless spectrum two years ago. Remember that? The U.S. government put local TV broadcast signals into a reserve for police, emergency and other public safety communication and auctioned off the excess spectrum to Verizon and AT&T for $16 billion in March 2008. One big result was last year’s digital TV transition, which forced TV channels to broadcast digital signals only.
Verizon added that it expects full nationwide 4G coverage by 2013.